Have you heard of BigFest? The “Festival Simulator” comes to the Vita via Sony XDev Studio Europe and we spoke to Associate Producer Claire Bromley about the game and the Vita!
Hello Claire, thanks for talking with us today! Can you explain a little bit about what Sony XDev do?
Hi Paul! Always a pleasure to speak to you guys!
Sure thing, here at XDev Studio Europe we aim to bring a wide range of innovative games to PlayStation platforms. To give you an idea, some of our previous releases were Until Dawn and LittleBigPlanet 3, two very different games, both awesome fun.
Obviously the main reason we are talking to you is the “Festival Simulator” BigFest. Can you explain what the game is about?
The game is about designing and managing your own Festival, your way. So you can be headlining a Hard Rock band, whilst everyone is wearing straw hats and eating candy floss. You also have access to global catalogue of real life unsigned artists, through our mates over at Jamendo. So you can have fun scouting out and finding unknown artists you like to promoting through your festivals, which other players can attend and listen to, as well as following how their doing on the BigFest Leaderboards.
The main focus of the game is choosing new and unsigned acts to perform at your event. What was the motivation behind this choice?
We love these types of games, but we also wanted to bring something new and interesting to the table. So when we spoke to the guys over at Jamendo on how we could work together to allow players to search, discover and promote real life unsigned artists through the game, it just seemed like too cool an idea to not make it into the game.
The game will continually be updated with new artists to choose from. How do you go about attracting this talent, and how long do you think the game will do this for?
So we’re currently planning to swap out a few hundred tracks every few months, to keep it fresh and interesting for the players. We don’t need to attract the talent, it’s already there waiting for us to find them on Jamendo! It only really depends on demand as to when we’ll stop updating the tracks.
When the game was first announced it was a Free-to-play title, but this has obviously been abandoned. What was the thinking behind this?
As you know, things can change during the development of a game as we regularly play and review iterations, and in the end we believed it would offer a more satisfying experience to players as a premium game.
Do you have any favourite artists in BigFest?
Juanitos – Glitter Bomb from her Best of Juanitos album and before you ask, no I’m not going to sing any.
The game was initially announced as a Vita exclusive, then coming to PS3/4 before releasing as a Vita exclusive. Not that we are complaining, but can you shed any light on the other versions?
Like I mentioned earlier, things can change during development. We investigated the idea of bringing the game to our other platforms but in the end the best experience was on Vita so we decided to focus on that version and do it properly.
There have been a lot of high-profile comments regarding Sony’s plans towards the Vita. Are Sony XDev working on any other Vita titles right now?
Unfortunately I can’t confirm if we have any other Vita games in development right now, although we’ve worked hard to get this one to you, so we hope you enjoy it.
You are a big Vita fan yourself, what have been your favourite experiences?
I am indeed. Being able to game wherever I go and the option of Remote Play, is just delightful, although crossing busy roads can be dangerous sometimes….
My favourite moments would have to be LittleBigPlanet making me giggle straightaway with ‘oh no! The end of the road!’ and continuing making me smile until the end.
Tearaway’s end specifically, but that game is utterly charming throughout.
Rayman Legends music levels, those Gloo Gloo songs are just fabulous fun to listen to as you play through the same level and try to time that jump better.
My favourite experience of Hotline Miami will always be on the Vita version, I’m pretty sure I do better at the absolutely nails levels when the screen is an inch away from my nose.
Is there anything that you are looking forward to from the 2016 line-up?
The Attack on Titan game on the Vita will be getting purchased day 1.
Our last question is a hard one – which do you think is the better Vita model, the original OLED or the Slim?
The honest answer from me is both. I’ve still got my original Vita but he’s beginning to look his age. He’s still serving me very well, there’s not been a cough or splutter out of him despite, and I’m not proud to say this…I have dropped him a few times. But the new colourful slim models…I really want one too, but that’s just being Vita greedy, although I guess if anyone would understand where I’m coming from, it would be you guys.
This interview first appeared in our January issue of The Vita Lounge Magazine. Stay tuned to our magazine for more exclusive and magazine first content soon!